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by Matt Lee Contributions Published on Dec 06, 2011 05:24 PM

Issue 36, March 2011

Welcome to the Free Software Supporter, the Free Software Foundation's monthly news digest and action update -- being read by you and 39,178 other activists. That's 1,117 more than last month!

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  • 2010 Free Software Awards announced
  • FSF announces new executive director
  • Sign-up! May 4th, 2011 Day Against DRM
  • Happy 10th birthday to FSF Europe!
  • Happy Document Freedom Day!
  • Volunteer to help the new Savannah maintainer
  • Free software is what we humans are talking more about
  • Steer clear of Android Market and its DRM
  • Avoid the pitfalls of the JavaScript Trap on Gmail
  • EA uses DRM to punish forum behavior
  • Trisquel 4.5 "Slaine" released
  • Librarians Against DRM
  • LibrePlanet featured resource: Day Against DRM 2011
  • GNU spotlight with Karl Berry
  • Featured GNU Status Report: Gnash 0.8.9 Released
  • Richard Stallman's speaking schedule and other FSF events
  • Take action with the FSF!

2010 Free Software Awards announced

During our annual conference, LibrePlanet, we announced the 2010 Free Software Awards.

This year, the Award for Social Benefit was given to The Tor Project for their critical role in protecting the privacy of many millions of Internet users using free software.

The Award for the Advancement of Free Software was given to Rob Savoye for his long-time contributions to many important free software projects, including Gnash, GCC, GDB and OLPC, during the past 20 years.

FSF announces new executive director

Peter Brown, who has been part of the FSF for the last ten years and served as our executive director since 2005, has decided to seek new challenges. John Sullivan was appointed by the FSF board as his successor.

We are looking forward to facing new challenges and taking new opportunities under John's leadership!

Sign-up! May 4th, 2011 Day Against DRM

We are about to have the third International Day Against DRM, which is a worldwide call for action to raise awareness about the threats that DRM brings.

We have set up a mailing list for planning and discussing activities for that day. Please join and post!

Happy 10th birthday to FSF Europe!

Our European sister organization, FSFE, celebrated its tenth birthday this month. Since 2001, the Free Software Foundation Europe has worked hard for software freedom in Europe.

Happy birthday, FSFE!

Happy Document Freedom Day!

Document Freedom Day (DFD) is a global day for document liberation that is celebrated on the last Wednesday of every March since 2008, organized by FSFE.

This year's Document Freedom Day took place on March 30th and there were celebrations in Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and several other countries.

Volunteer to help the new Savannah maintainer

Sylvain Beucler, who was instrumental in modernizing and maintaining Savannah for the last seven years, has decided to step down and look for new challenges. Many, many, thanks to Sylvain and best wishes.

Michael Flickinger, a long-time Savannah administrator, has taken over maintainer responsibilities and resumed work on the Savannah back end. New volunteers would be greatly appreciated!

Free software is what we humans are talking more about

Peter Brown wrote about his experience as the outgoing executive director of the Free Software Foundation:

When I joined the FSF in 2001, free software was not so well known. The values we promoted were often ignored in the corporate adoption and promotion of free software under the banner of open source.

Steer clear of Android Market and its DRM

Google recently made headlines after they identified some malware being distributed through the Android Market. Not only did they stop distributing those apps, but they used their "remote kill switch" to remove the apps from phones where they were already downloaded. This is a kind of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) that all computer users should avoid.

In this case, the DRM is being used to prevent developers from breaking phones' security and collecting personal information without authorization. Those are laudable ends, but they don't justify the means: anyone using the Android Market gives Google the power to remove software from their phones.

Avoid the pitfalls of the JavaScript Trap on Gmail

Our campaigns team started a new series of instructions on how to avoid running proprietary JavaScript when browsing popular websites that use JavaScript heavily.

Gmail is the topic of the first installment. Many of you are viewing this right now via Gmail, so please take a moment to read this article.

EA uses DRM to punish forum behavior

Just because you buy a DRM-restricted game doesn't mean you can play it. An unfortunate forum comment temporarily left a gamer unable to play a single-player game purchased through the EA Store, as EA revoked his game access along with his forum access. This article about the dangers of proprietary games and DRM is the first post by our newest campaigns intern, Helen.

Trisquel 4.5 "Slaine" released

Trisquel, the free GNU/Linux distribution, has just released a new version, based on Linux-libre 2.6.35 and GNOME 2.32. It features experimental NVIDIA 3D graphics support!

Librarians Against DRM

A recent move by the publisher HarperCollins -- limiting the number of times an ebook can be checked out -- may have just pushed many librarians over the edge. One reaction to this demand of HarperCollins is a call for a "Readers' Bill of Rights", as well as the creation of powerful graphics and logos that create solidarity for Librarians Against DRM.

LibrePlanet featured resource: Day Against DRM 2011

Every month on LibrePlanet, we highlight one resource that is interesting and useful -- often one that could use your help.

For this month, we are highlighting Day Against DRM 2011 resources, for individuals and groups to plan local and global actions for this year's Day on May 4th.

Do you have a suggestion for next month's featured resource? Let us know at

GNU Spotlight with Karl Berry

autoconf-archive-2011.03.17 hello-2.7 smalltalk-3.2.4 autogen-5.11.8 help2man-1.39.2 tar-1.26 ccaudio2-2.0.5 icecat-3.6.16 tramp-2.2.1 dejagnu-1.5 libidn-1.20 ucommon-4.2.2 emacs-23.3 libmicrohttpd-0.9.8 vc-dwim-1.4 gcc-4.6.0 m4-1.4.16 vcdimager-0.7.24 global-5.9.4 nano-2.3.0 xorriso-1.0.4 gnash-0.8.9 ncurses-5.8 zile-2.3.23 gnutls-2.12.0 parallel-20110322 gtypist-2.8.4 sipwitch-0.10.5

To get announcements of most new GNU releases, subscribe to the info-gnu mailing list: Nearly all GNU software is available from, or preferably one of its mirrors ( You can use the url to be automatically redirected to a (hopefully) nearby and up-to-date mirror.

This month Ralf Angeli adds GNU AUCTeX to the GNU RefTeX package he was already co-maintaining with David Kastrup. Thanks Ralf and David.

Several GNU packages are looking for maintainers and other assistance. Please see if you'd like to help. The general page on how to help GNU is at To submit new packages to GNU, see

As always, please feel free to write to me,, with any GNUish questions or suggestions for future installments.

Featured GNU Status Report: Gnash 0.8.9 Released

Open Media Now! and the Gnash community are happy to announce the release of Gnash 0.8.9. Gnash the GNU Flash player is a free/libre SWF movie player, with all the source code released under GPLv3. Gnash is available as both a standalone player and also as a browser plugin for Firefox (and all other Gecko-based browsers), Chromium and Konqueror.

Richard Stallman's speaking schedule

2011-04-01 Free Software and Your Freedom Regina, Canada *

2011-04-02 Copyright vs. Community Regina, Canada *

2011-04-04 Free Software and Your Freedom Prince George, Canada *

2011-04-11 A Free Digital Society - What Makes Digital Inclusion Good or Bad? Palo Alto, CA *

2011-04-16 For a Free Digital Society San Francisco, CA *

2011-05-02 Les logiciel libre et votre liberté Tetouan, Morocco *

Take action with the FSF

Contributions from thousands of individual members enable the FSF's work. You can contribute by joining at If you're already a member, you can help refer new members (and earn some rewards) by adding a line with your member number to your email signature like:

I'm an FSF member -- Help us support software freedom!

The FSF is also always looking for volunteers ( From rabble-rousing to hacking, from issue coordination to envelope stuffing -- there's something here for everybody to do. Also, head over to our campaign section ( and take action on software patents, DRM, free software adoption, OpenDocument, RIAA and more.


The Free Software Supporter is edited by FSF volunteer Osama Khalid.

Copyright © 2011 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

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